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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 September, 2003, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Carnage in Pakistan train crash
A train and a bus have collided in central Pakistan, killing at least 27 people, police say.

The crash happened near Malikwal, a town about 150 kilometres (93 miles) south of the capital Islamabad, as the bus was attempting to cross the railway track, local police chief Waqar Haider said.

He said all those killed had been on board the bus.

The BBC's Zaffar Abbas in Islamabad reports that nearly all the train passengers escaped unharmed in the crash, which happened early on Saturday between the towns of Lalamusa and Surghuda in Punjab province.

But nearly all the bus passengers were killed - at least 20 of them on the spot - and the impact reduced parts of the vehicle to twisted metal.

According to one police official quoted by Reuters, the death toll was at least 40.

A derailed Pakistani train, 26 Sep 2002
Pakistan has seen several major crashes in recent years
A number of people were injured, six critically.

The police chief said the railway crossing did not have a gate, nor any warning lights to alert vehicles to oncoming trains.

All train services have now been suspended on the line and a full investigation is under way.

A spokesman for the Pakistan Railways said the crash appeared to have been caused by the bus driver's negligence.

Local villagers say it is the third collision at the unmanned level crossing in less than two years, but despite repeated demands, the railway authorities had failed to install a gate.

The BBC's Zaffar Abbas
"Local villagers say it's the third such accident at this particular level crossing in nearly two years"

Pakistan bus crash kills 24
09 May 03  |  South Asia
Eight die in Pakistan train crash
09 Jan 01  |  South Asia
Pakistan bus crash kills 40
22 Oct 00  |  South Asia

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